I've noticed that some formatting is allowed in comments here, like using MathJaX to intersperse spaces and equations in the comment text, but I haven't found a way to generate line breaks; more specifically, \$ <CR><LF> \$

Enabling that feature, if possible, would certainly make comments less difficult to read, with - I suspect - very little extra load on the system.

I, therefore, politely request that that feature be enabled tentatively in order to determine whether it has an untoward effect on the system.


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  • \$\begingroup\$ No, it is not. Even if you add them through pasting text with them in they get collapsed. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jan 14 '15 at 11:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Majenko: Yeah, I tried that earlier and it didn't work either. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 11:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried adding HTML tags, like &le;br/&ge;? Like so:<br/><br/>... HTML tags and entities don't work here as you can see. \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Jan 14 '15 at 11:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ What about a simple $$ $$, like this: $$ $$ Yes, the break is rather large, but at least it works. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Jan 14 '15 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it does. Thanks, Dave... \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 12:25

You can't have linebreaks in comments. It's annoying. And multiple comments get resorted by an algorithm, so just making multiple comments doesn't work.

Sometimes I put a pilcrow (¶) in between sentences. Close enough.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for teaching me the name of that symbol. In exchange, the plastic or metal thing at the end of a shoelace is an 'aglet' \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Jan 15 '15 at 21:27

No, and the fact that it isn't possible without tweaking (like using MathJax) should be a hint. See this post on MetaSE:

Jeff [Atwood, co-founder of SE] wants to discourage more significant comments - it ends up leading to discussion rather than Q&A.

You changed the question into a feature request. I can't give an authoritative answer to that request of course, but I don't think you can hope too much looking at above quote.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess you haven't noticed, but this is Meta and one of the tags for questions here is "discussion", so I guess you've got your knickers in a bunch for nothing. And, anyway, what's it to you? You act as if I'm taking money out of your pockets or something instead of just asking a simple question for my own edification. A well deserved -1 for you. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EMFields I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. I edited your question because the question you asked is a support question, not a discussion question. If you meant to start a discussion about whether we should have this or not, you should edit your question to make this more clear - because as it stands now, the question is merely asking whether it's possible or not. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Jan 14 '15 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whatever you may have read into the question, what I asked for was an answer, not a discussion, so whatever you read into the question was of your own volition as was the initiation of this discussion. I have no interest in it, so I'm disengaging. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EMFields I honestly don't see what's the problem here. You asked a question, on which you received two fine answers. In addition to that, your question was edited to have the appropriate tags (see the descriptions here). I'm sorry if you didn't get what you expected. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Jan 14 '15 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're quite right about the appropriateness of your edit. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 17:14

If you're trying to write a comment that is so elaborate as to need fancy markup, you should step back and think about what you are really trying to do within the context of the Stack Exchange system and it being a Q+A site. Probably what you are trying to write shouldn't be a comment, or the content is inappropriate for a comment.

Are you really just pointing out something minor to the author of the answer? Just asking for clarification of a question? These don't tend to need fancy formatting.

If not, then maybe it should be its own answer, or maybe it doesn't belong here at all.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You continually harp on attractive presentation, but when someone actually takes tentative steps to implement that attractiveness, you show up with your hypocritical mentality trying to tear down whatever's NIH, and especially their style, if it's at all at odds with yours. -1 to you. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EMFi: Yes, good presentation matters, but in the context of this site that's in questions and answers. Comments are meant to be short, minor, or somewhat aside. They shouldn't really be "presentations" on their own. This is exactly the point Jeff Atwood makes as quoted in Camil's answer. If you are thinking in terms of "presenting" something, then it shouldn't be a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jan 14 '15 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regardless of whether I'm asking or answering a question or writing a comment, if it's not meant to be caustic I try to make it as easy and pleasurable for my readers to enjoy as possible. I realize you have difficulty with accepting that as rational behavior, but that's the way I run my ship and your objections, while noted, are irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 14 '15 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EMFi: The way comments are displayed in the SE system would make line breaks annoying. You'd have to look closely to see that the text below the break is part of the same comment as above it. This is not something we should let people do. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jan 15 '15 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The "discussion" tag is, according to the site: "designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus." \$ \ \$ Camil quite graciously edited my original tag from "discussion" to "support", which the site indicates should be used if: "You need help with the use of one or more of the site's features." \$ \ \$ You seem to have overstepped the bounds of the article's current tag by spewing unsolicited opinion, and this is not something we should let people do. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 15 '15 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EMFi: A valid answer to "How do I do X?" can be "You shouldn't be trying to do X in the first place because of Y and Z". You can of course disagree with that by donwvoting as you did, but note that so far only one other person agrees with you while 3 others agree with me. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jan 15 '15 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ A valid answer to: "How do I do X" is, simply, "Like this..." with the ellipsis indicating the steps or method the querent should use in order to be successful in his quest. \$ \ \$ Your "answer" is actually a denial of help, based on the notion that you're the only one fit to be the keeper of the keys, and that you should be in control of what information gets doled out to whom. That theme permeates your writing and is reminiscent of the times that exact mindset has turned the whole world upside-down. \$ \ \$ As for the popularity contest, if that's what you're into, go for it \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 16 '15 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EMFi: On meta, nobody gains or looses anything from votes. Votes are a measure of how the users of this site feel about particular issues, or at least those users that care enough about the site to come to meta to discuss its operation. No system is perfect, but this one seems reasonable enough, and lots better than how other sites are run. You can call it a popularity contest if you want, but then you're missing the point of what meta is all about, and the bigger picture of the philosophy of the SE systems as a whole. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jan 18 '15 at 15:42

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